If you want people to respect you, say goodbye to these 8 behaviors

Sadly, being respected isn’t something that comes naturally to all of us.

No matter who you are, what you look like, or what title you have, not everyone is going to respect you from the get-go.

But luckily, the way you behave in your daily life acts as guidance to others about how much they should respect you.

And (unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your view of things) what you let people get away with and how you talk about yourself with others can impact how you’re treated.

If you want people to respect you, keep reading to learn the 8 behaviors you need to say goodbye to (sooner rather than later!).

1) Not doing what you say you’re going to do

We all do it when we say we’re going to do something, but don’t always end up doing it.

And while we all get busy in life sometimes, continuously not doing what you say you’re going to do can lead people to lose respect for you.

This applies to the big things and the small things.

Here are a few examples.

I remember a work colleague who complained about her job daily and said she would be leaving soon, but never ended up leaving – even after years.

Likewise, I had an ex-boyfriend once who always said he was going to do these little things, but never did a single one of them – even the ones that would only take a few minutes.

Unfortunately, I lost respect for both of their words over time.

It’s almost instinctive for us to lose respect for people when they never follow through on what they say.

So, if you say you’re going to do something, do it if you want to be respected.

Otherwise, don’t say it at all.

2) Not paying people back

Nobody likes to feel short-changed.

Paying people back what you owe is a sign that you respect them and their money.

So it makes sense that not paying them back shows that you don’t respect them.

And if you don’t respect people, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll respect you back.

Not paying people back is basically you saying that you have no respect for their hard-earned cash and generosity.  

A new study even showed that almost 75% of people would end a friendship if someone didn’t pay them back the money they owed.

And it’s not about not being wealthy enough to pay it back.

Because if you don’t have the cash to do that thing, you shouldn’t do that thing.

I know I’d respect someone so much more for saying no to an event because they needed to save up.

Rather than have them borrow money to go, even though they had no intention of paying the cash back.

3) Lending people money and not asking for it back

Similar to the above point, lending someone money and not asking for it back is another behavior that isn’t going to get you much respect.

When you don’t respect your money, chances are, other people won’t respect it either.

So, don’t always be the person paying for everything and never asking for it back.

When you do this, people will think you’re happy to pay for them all the time.

And, if they’re “that kind of person”, they’ll continue to spend your money without any regard.

4) Letting everything go, even the really, really bad things

The saying, “Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile” is true for a reason.

When you give, give, give, certain people will take, take, take.

And, unfortunately, if you let everything go, people will (knowingly or unknowingly) start to lose respect for you.

This applies in relationships, friendships, families, and work environments.

Because the more you let people get away with, the less respect you’ll be for it.

In relationships, this could look like continuously letting your partner talk down to you in front of your friends without speaking up about it. Or not breaking up with them over it if they don’t stop when you ask.

In friendships, it could be constantly letting your friend cancel on you at the last minute, without calling them out on how much it inconveniences you.

Because when you let things go, people conclude that that’s the behavior you’re willing to accept.

And the level of respect they give you will be on the same level.

5) Always being the butt of a joke

Not taking yourself too seriously can be a great quality in a person.

Being able to laugh about a petty argument once it’s been resolved, or at yourself when you fall over, lightens the mood and can help you move past the event.

It can also be a sign that you have a positive outlook on life.

But there’s a difference between letting people laugh with you and letting people laugh at you all the time.

When you constantly allow yourself to be the butt of a joke, the laughing stock of the group, or the person whose love life/personal life/weight/height, etc. is always mocked in the name of “fun”, you won’t be earning yourself any respect.

If this sounds like you, you either need to set some new boundaries by saying, “That isn’t funny” or “You’ve taken it too far now” – or maybe get some new friends!

6) Giving in to peer pressure

I always remember this guy at my college who would consistently give in to peer pressure.

Even though he didn’t want to go out that night so he could study the next day, his friends would make a joke and protest it profusely.

Every single time, he would give in to the peer pressure.

It was quite clear that, because he gave in so often, his friends sadly never respected his boundaries.

Saying no to things you don’t want to do can be hard, especially if more than one person is pressuring you into it.

But it can go a long way in getting people to actually respect you.

7) Disrespecting yourself

One of the most important behaviors to stop if you want people to respect you is disrespecting yourself.

Whether that’s in relationships or in the way you act and speak.

The way you treat yourself sets a standard for how others should treat you.

If you want your parent, partner, friend, or boss to respect you, you have to respect yourself.

So don’t speak about yourself poorly all the time if you don’t want others to speak poorly about you too.

And if the people in your life do something that crosses your boundaries, stand up for yourself.

And always, always, always follow through on your words.

If you say you’re going to end the relationship, end it. If you say you’re going to leave a job, leave it.

And if you say enough is enough when it comes to being friends with someone toxic, let enough be enough, and let the friend go.

8) Asking outright for someone’s respect

Finally, asking for someone’s respect is a surefire way to not earn their respect.

Going around shouting, “I’m [insert title here] and I need your respect!” is one of the least successful ways to actually get someone’s respect.

Instead, it needs to be earned, not demanded.  

So if you do this often, it’s another behavior you need to drop if you want genuine respect from the people around you.

Final thoughts

While everyone should treat everyone with candor, respect is unfortunately something that has to be earned.

It’s not a given in life and, more often than not, we have to work hard to be respected by the people around us.

How we behave in daily life and how we treat ourselves says a lot about what level of respect we should be given.

And quitting these behaviors and replacing them with the complete opposite is one of the best ways to ensure you gain more respect in all aspects of your life.

Whether that’s your romantic relationships, dating life, friendships, or in your career.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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